Grant recipient: Naira Karapetyan
Shirak province, Tsoghamarg community
Grant amount: 2․507․980 AMD
Emphasizing the importance of rural women’s and girls’ capacity building and empowering entrepreneurship among them, from August 2020 through May 2021, “Women for Development” NGO (WFD NGO), with the funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, has implemented the “Economic empowerment of vulnerable young rural women in Shirak region through entrepreneurship and enlargement of self-owned business” project.
Naira Karapetyan was one of the 28 applicants who had the opportunity to participate in business courses organized by the WFD NGO, to acquire basic knowledge and skills for starting own business. Out of 9 project proposals submitted, the following 4 most interesting and sustainable ideas became the winners:
- – “Strawberry House” – greenhouse in Arpeni village
– “Violet Dried Fruits” – dried fruit production in Tsoghamarg village
– “Sweet Areg” – pastry and candy production unit in Anushavan village
– “Green Oasis” – greenhouse in Tsoghamarg village.
With the goal of keeping her family strong and united, Naira decided to establish a family business, where both herself and her husband would be involved. Naira’s idea was to establish a 160 square meter greenhouse, which would make it possible to produce vegetables all year round, and sell them for securing additional income for their family. Without her husband’s support, Naira would not be able to implement the greenhouse design, construction and materials purchase works.
“When we began the greenhouse construction works on our unused soil, the volume of work was overwhelming and I had a fear that we would not meet the deadline. However, adding every stone and detail made us more encouraged and we worked even harder to make sure deadline was met and we reached our intended results”,- shares Naira.
At the moment, tomatoes and cucumbers are grown in the greenhouse, however in the future there are plans to grow other vegetables too. The main advantage of semi-covered greenhouse is creation of optimal microclimate inside, which allows the plants to grow to their fullest genetic potential and secure maximum harvest. The greenhouse has drip irrigation system, which saves water up to 5 times, additionally this saves the most expensive resource – time, because it makes it unnecessary to make extra efforts in making the plants sufficiently watered.
Currently, Naira’s first morning priority is visiting the greenhouse and taking care of the plants. “Similarly to children, plants also need love and care, in order to receive this in return. There is nothing more joyful than the moment when you harvest the results of your hard work and enjoy them”.
“Similar to other Armenian men, my husband was spending most of the year working abroad, seeking for income in Russia, which was extremely difficult for myself and our kids. I was always thinking what I could do to help my husband make money in our village and prevent him from labor migration. And here is where “Women for Development” NGO came to help and make it possible to fulfill my goal”.
The couple is preparing for their harvest soon, and they are assured that during any season they will not have any issues of selling organic produce.
Naira is challenging the labor migration with her idea of establishing a greenhouse, and is sure that it is possible to make income in their own village, without having to leave the family.